Charity steps in to help Broadway teenager

Evesham Journal: Aliki in her ‘emergency’ wheelchair. Aliki in her ‘emergency’ wheelchair.

A BROADWAY teenager who urgently needed a specialist wheelchair when her health suddenly deteriorated has thanked the charity that provided her with the equipment within days.

Aliki Vlachos, aged 13, has a severe neurological disorder which affects her learning and mobility.

Sadly she suffered a big deterioration recently and needed a new wheelchair as the Vale of Evesham School pupil was getting curvature of the spine.

But the new equipment was set to take six months to get a replacement.

Mum Julie said: "Aliki has had a big deterioration recently and is now receiving palliative care. Her old wheelchair just wasn’t suitable any more, she started to get curvature of the spine, but we were told it would take six months to get a replacement through wheelchair services."

Luckily Aliki’s hospice support worker suggested the family contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, and a suitable wheelchair, while she waited for permanent provision, was delivered days later.

The youngster's mum added: "Newlife was quick to respond to our needs and the interim wheelchair has been fantastic for Aliki.

"Without it she would have had a very uncomfortable and isolating few months while we waited for a new one to arrive. It has corrected her posture and helped with her breathing and swallowing, so that now Aliki can spend more time at school."

The wheelchair loan was provided through Newlife’s emergency equipment loan service Just Can’t Wait, which aims to get essential support to the homes of life-limited children within 72 hours. Wheelchairs, buggies, specialist beds, seating and portable hoists are included in the scheme.

Newlife Lead Nurse Karen Dobson said: "Our fast track option is there because children’s needs are so wide and varied. And, within statutory services procedures, there isn’t always the facility for families to access equipment quickly."

The charity is currently working with the families of two other disabled children in Worcestershire, with equipment grant needs totalling £8,969.

If you would like to donate or fundraise to help these children, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640.

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